Hoos blast Blue Devils, 14-4, to force deciding Super Regional Game 3 Sunday

By Scott Ratcliffe

Photo: UVA Athletics

The Virginia bats came alive with the season on the line Saturday at Disharoon Park, as the Cavaliers cranked out 14 runs on 14 hits — highlighted by a record-breaking day from junior third baseman Jake Gelof — and lived to fight another day.

UVA (49-13), the No. 7 overall seed, staved off elimination with a 14-4 win in Saturday’s Game Two of the best-of-three Charlottesville Super Regional against Duke, forcing a do-or-die, win-or-go-home contest on Sunday (time, TV to be determined) to decide who will be punching their ticket to the College World Series in Omaha next week.

Gelof, who hadn’t registered a postseason RBI heading into Saturday’s game, wound up with 4 on the afternoon, placing him alone atop the program’s career list with 184. Steven Proscia (182) held the previous record.

But that wasn’t the only mark shattered by the Rehoboth Beach, Del., native on Saturday. With the Cavaliers already enjoying a comfortable 10-3 advantage with a runner aboard in the top of the eighth, Gelof crushed a 2-0 Jason White delivery that cleared the bleachers in left field, setting the single-season home run record in the process with his 23rd of the year and 48th of his illustrious career, adding to his career record total.

The Wahoo faithful in attendance had plenty to cheer about on Saturday, and it didn’t take long to get things going. Second-year shortstop Griff O’Ferrall smoked the second pitch of the ballgame out of the yard to give Virginia a lightning-quick 1-0 lead.

That was just the spark the offense needed, as the Hoos added two more runs in the second — an Anthony Stephan sac fly and a Henry Godbout RBI single — and then another in the fourth on a Harrison Didawick sac fly to take a 4-0 lead. When the Blue Devils (39-23) finally got on the board with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth, the Cavaliers had the answer in the fifth.

With Gelof and Kyle Teel occupying the bases, Ethan Anderson smacked one way over the right-field wall to push the lead to 7-3. Two batters later, Stephan added a solo blast to the same part of the ballpark to make it a five-run affair.

In the sixth, Gelof tied Proscia’s record that had stood since 2011 with a two-run double, and the lead ballooned to 10-3.

After Gelof’s record-setting moon shot in the eighth, which broke Brian Buchanan’s mark from 1994, Casey Saucke put on the finishing touches with a two-RBI double to score Teel and Anderson. The 14 runs scored were the most ever by a Cavalier team in a Super Regional contest.

On the mound, Connelly Early was equally impressive, giving the Hoos a second-straight quality start. The junior left-hander went 7 stellar innings, giving up 3 runs (none of them earned) on 9 hits while striking out 8 batters and walking none. The Army transfer moved to 12-2 on the season with the win.

Elon graduate transfer RHP Brian Edgington (8-3, 3.64 ERA) will get the start the start for the Cavaliers on Sunday.


Best of 3
Friday, June 9-Monday, June 12

No. 1 Wake Forest (51-10) vs No. 16 Alabama (43-20)
Wake Forest leads series, 1-0
Game 1: Wake Forest 5, Alabama 4
Game 2: Sunday, Noon (ESPN)
Game 3: Monday, TBD (if necessary)

Texas (42-20) vs No. 8 Stanford (41-18)
Texas leads series, 1-0
Game 1: Texas 7, Stanford 5
Game 2: Sunday, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 3: Monday, TBD (if necessary)

No. 5 LSU (47-15) vs No. 12 Kentucky (40-20)
LSU leads series, 1-0
Game 1: LSU 14, Kentucky 0
Game 2: Sunday, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
Game 3: Monday, TBD (if necessary)

Southern Miss (45-18) vs Tennessee (41-19)
Game 1: Suspended (So. Miss leads, 4-0)
Game 2: Sunday, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 3: Monday, TBD (if necessary)

No. 2 Florida (50-15) vs No. 15 South Carolina (42-21)
Florida wins series, 2-0
Game 1: Florida 5, South Carolina 4
Game 2: Florida 4, South Carolina 0

No. 7 Virginia (49-13) vs Duke (39-23)
Series tied, 1-1
Game 1: Duke 5, Virginia 4
Game 2: Virginia 14, Duke 4
Game 3: Sunday, Noon (ESPN2)

Oregon (41-21) vs Oral Roberts (50-12)
Series tied, 1-1
Game 1: Oregon 9, Oral Roberts 8
Game 2: Oral Roberts 8, Oregon 7
Game 3: Sunday, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)

No. 14 Indiana State (45-17) vs TCU (42-22)
TCU wins series, 2-0
Game 1: TCU 4, Indiana State 1
Game 2: TCU 6, Indiana State 4